Despite affecting approximately one percent of the world's population, including people of both sexes, all ages and all ethnicities, vitiligo is a medical condition that too many people know far too little about. Whether you or someone you know has vitiligo, you think you might have vitiligo, or you just want to learn more about this condition, here are the basic facts your Pasadena and Houston, TX dermatologist at Southeast Dermatology wants you to know.
What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is skin condition characterized by large white patches or spots on the skin. These white spots do not contain melanocytes, the type of skin cells that produce pigment.
What Causes Vitiligo?
Vitiligo may be caused by a number of factors, including both genetic and environmental factors. Common environmental factors include trauma, illness, stress and sunburn. Vitiligo may even be caused by an autoimmune disorder. Vitiligo doesn't just occur randomly, however. Researchers believe that individuals who develop vitiligo were likely already susceptible.
How is Vitiligo Diagnosed?
If you have white patches that you believe are caused by vitiligo, your Pasadena and Houston, TX dermatologist can let you know for sure. Your dermatologist will ask you several questions about your condition, your symptoms, and your medical history. He or she will then give you a physical examination
Is Vitiligo Dangerous?
No. White patches are the only physical symptom caused by vitiligo. Many people who have vitiligo do suffer from a variety of emotional and social side effects such as bullying and insecurity, however, which makes seeking treatment from a dermatologist at Southeast Dermatology in Pasadena and Houston, TX worthwhile.
How is Vitiligo Treated?
Several treatments for vitiligo do exist, though not all treatments are equally effective on all individuals. It is normal for your dermatologist to try several treatments in order to find the one that works best. Possible treatment options include: topical steroids or creams, Psoralen photochemotherapy (PUVA), narrow-band UVB, laser treatments, skin grafts and depigmentation.
If you have or suspect you may have vitiligo, it is well worth your time to find about more about this condition and what treatments may be available to you. Call your dermatologist at Southeast Dermatology in Pasadena and Houston, TX to set up an appointment today.